FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why is Whole Family Medicine a membership-based practice?
The current healthcare system is focused on volume and quick fixes. The art of healing and the realty of today’s healthcare environment are not aligned. Our membership-based practice allows Dr. Owen to dedicate the necessary time with her patients in a system that is not focused on volume but focused on true healthcare.
What is a membership-based practice?
Most doctors manage over of 2,500 patients. At that volume, it is simply not possible to find the time to properly educate and heal patients. Membership is the how we keep Whole Family Medicine small. Optimal health and healing require personalized testing, education, and motivation. WFM membership is limited in order to allow us to meet your individual needs effectively, allowing time for the development of a healing relationship.
Why is there a membership fee?
The average primary care visit in the U.S. today lasts 15 minutes, with most topics receiving less than 2 minutes of attention. The prevailing healthcare system does not (yet) value the time that is essential for genuine healthcare for our complex lives in a complex world. Patients pay a monthly fee to allow the practice to provide time and service which are not covered by insurance.
What are the benefits of membership?
Membership enables Dr. Owen to invest the time and employ the technology to accomplish far more than can be offered in typical medical offices. This includes new technologies, lab tests, and protocols that will allow you to partner with your doctor to optimize your health.
How does this work with insurance?
Your membership is not health insurance. While many members choose to reduce their insurance premiums by moving to a high deductible plan after joining the practice, we strongly encourage you to maintain your insurance coverage for office visits, lab testing, imaging services, specialist care, hospitalization, and other medical costs. Please note that we will bill your insurance for services that are covered, and are required by insurers to collect co-payments. Your membership fee is for the advanced suite of services, time, and access offered by Whole Family Medicine that is generally not covered by insurance.
Can my corporate benefits be used to cover the membership fee?
The membership fee may be paid through many employer plans and may be compatible with programs such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs). The practice will be able to provide you with a statement for you to submit to your benefits administrator upon receipt of services from the practice (if necessary).
Please note, membership fees cannot be paid with your FSA debit or credit card. A statement can be provided for submission to your FSA claims processor.
The portion of the membership fee you are seeking to have reimbursed must be for services provided during the plan year. Typical plans run on a calendar year thus you would be able to submit for fees incurred during the same calendar year.
Please consult with your plan administrator and or your tax advisor to make sure you understand what your specific benefits allow. We try to give you up to date advice, but laws and rules change rapidly and we are not aware of the specific exclusions of all plans.
Is the fee tax-deductible?
The membership fee may be deductible for members that itemize their medical expenses for their tax returns. Please seek advice from your tax advisor.
Is Medicare accepted?
Yes. Your annual fee covers those services not reimbursed by Medicare. Otherwise your Medicare plan works as normal.
Is my membership fee covered by insurance?
No. Most insurance programs view the services included in the membership fee as non-covered and do not reimburse for the membership fee. In most cases, however, you can pay using a Health Savings Account (HSA). Check with your HSA to verify.
What is included in my membership?
Click here to learn more about the benefits included in the membership. Call us at 404-377-9010 to discuss current availability and pricing.
Where do I go for additional questions about membership?
You can call the Membership Team assisting the practice with this conversion and can answer most of your questions. The best number to call is 404-377-9010.